Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Baggage Keeper

Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers. 1 Samuel 17:22 NASVB

I had been asked to join a group of women to pray for a dear friend who was going through a deep, long, health crisis. She had very effectively worked alongside her husband who was a pastor, but now was limited in what she could do. I felt very privileged and humbled to be asked to join them for a time of intercession with and for her.

I spent some time in God’s word and prayer that morning before our gathering. It was a very reflective and heart searching time. At some point however, I moved from reflective to condemning thoughts. Memories of failures, disappointments, and lost opportunities just flooded over me. Suddenly, I didn’t want to go, didn’t really feel qualified to go. As I sat there, Bible in front of me opened to 1 Samuel 17, my eyes absorbed verse 22 in the New American Standard Version. The words plowed into my heart as a message straight from my Liberator, “Carol, leave your baggage with Me and run to the battle. I Am Your Baggage Keeper.” I didn’t know whether to laugh at the modern nuance of the ancient words, or just bow in gratitude for His freeing reminder that He had taken care of it all at Calvary. The condemnation disappeared and the peace and confidence to come boldly to His throne of grace to ask for help in my friend’s time of need appeared.

The enemy of our souls or our own introspective tendencies will try to shift our focus from His sufficiency and grace to our own inadequacy and works based approval. When Moses tried to help his people in his own strength, he ended up killing an Egyptian and trying to hide it. Now that’s some baggage. When God told Moses He was sending him to lead Israel out of captivity Moses tried to decline because he wasn’t a polished speaker. God didn’t try to convince him with a pep talk that he really was a skilled speaker. God’s pointed answer was, "Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say." Exodus 4:12 It simply is not about us, it is all about Him and His presence in our lives.

There is a world to win, a church to grow, and a path of good works marked out for each one of us. Are you allowing the enemy, your own sense of inadequacy, or past failures keep you fulfilling His call for your life? Leave it all with Him. Go at His bidding and He will be with you. He will teach you what to say and what to do.

MY PRAYER: Lord, thank you that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Keep reminding me that you don’t expect me to do your work on my own merit or in my own strength. In the gracious name of Jesus, amen.

MY CONFESSION: You are at work in me, both to will and to work for your good pleasure. You will enable and gift me to fulfill any task you entrust to me. I stand on your Word.

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